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September 25, 2013 0

Westgate Attack Underscores Al Shabaab’s Battle With Jews And Israel

In an inter­view with Al Jazeera on Mon­day, Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abu­laziz Abu Mus­cab, said that in addi­tion to Kenya’s mil­i­tary involve­ment in Soma­lia, the ter­ror­ist group attacked the West­gate Mall in Nairobi because it is a place “where there are Jew­ish and Amer­i­can shops. So we have to attack them.”al-shabaab-symbol-al-qaeda

Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked ter­ror­ist group that claimed respon­si­bil­ity for attack­ing the West­gate mall on Sat­ur­day, has pre­vi­ously declared an “open bat­tle” against Israel, which it deems the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity,” and Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa.

In 2012, Kenyan sup­port­ers of Al Shabaab pub­lished a pre­dom­i­nantly Swahili-language online ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine fea­turing English-language arti­cles that describe Jews as “the worst enemy of Islam.” The mag­a­zine, titled Gaidi Mtaani, roughly trans­lated as “Ter­ror­ism Street,” cast “the Zion­ist with their Amer­i­can part­ners” as the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the “cru­sade” in Soma­lia and crit­i­cized the Kenyan pres­i­dent for trav­el­ing to Israel to secure Israeli coop­er­a­tion for coun­tert­er­ror­ism efforts. 

gaidi-mtaani-magazine kenya-shabaab-adl

Screen­shot from Gaidi Mtaani

The authors warned that they will not “dif­fer­en­ti­ate between civil­ians and com­bat­ants” and called on Kenya’s cit­i­zens to “reflect on the mag­ni­tude of what is yet to come,” cit­ing the 1998 bomb­ing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya that killed over 200 people.

Israeli inter­ests had pre­vi­ously been tar­geted by Al Qaeda in Kenya, includ­ing an attempt to shoot down an Israeli air­liner and an attack on an Israeli-owned resort in 2002.

In Novem­ber 2009, Al Shabaab announced the estab­lish­ment of Al Quds Brigade, a mil­i­tary unit specif­i­cally tasked with attack­ing Israel and free­ing “Islamic holy places” from the Israelis.

See ADL’s Report: Al Shabaab’s Amer­i­can Recruits

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November 20, 2012 0

Militant Organizations Weigh In On Operation Pillar Of Defense

Has­san Nas­ral­lah speaks about Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense

In response to Israel’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tion against key Hamas and Islamic Jihad tar­gets in Gaza, Hezbol­lah, Al Shabaab and the Tal­iban have issued state­ments con­demn­ing Israel and Jews for the renewed violence.

Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda’s branch in Soma­lia, has con­demned “in the strongest pos­si­ble terms, the sav­age Jew­ish assault on the inno­cent Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion of Gaza.” Al Shabaab issued a state­ment on Twit­ter call­ing “on all Mus­lims, par­tic­u­larly those liv­ing near Gaza, to answer the call of the oppressed & come to the aid of their brothers.”

Although Al Shabaab is geo­graph­i­cally removed from the con­flict, it has pre­vi­ously declared an “open bat­tle” against Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa and against Israel, which it has described as the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity.” In Novem­ber 2009, it announced the estab­lish­ment of Al Quds Brigade, a mil­i­tary unit specif­i­cally tasked with attack­ing Israel and free­ing “Islamic holy places” from the Israelis.

Al Shabaab appears to be the only affil­i­ate of Al Qaeda to have issued a pub­lic state­ment on the con­flict so far. Since mes­sages from the senior Al Qaeda lead­er­ship rou­tinely take time to reach the pub­lic, offi­cial state­ments are likely to be made in the com­ing weeks.

Hezbol­lah, the Lebanese For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion (FTO), has also con­demned Israeli actions and expressed its sup­port for the Pales­tin­ian mil­i­tant fac­tions via its satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, Al-Manar. While Hezbol­lah has not yet entered the fray, Lebanese secu­rity forces report that they dis­man­tled two rock­ets aimed at Israel from south­ern Lebanon on Monday.

Has­san Nas­ral­lah, Hezbollah’s leader, encour­aged Arabs to “open bor­ders to Gaza and deliver more mis­siles to the resis­tance,” adding that “Arab coun­tries are required to sup­port and arm Gaza and not to work as inter­me­di­aries between the Israeli enemy and Gaza.” Nas­ral­lah also said “the Zion­ists returned to their crim­i­nal nature with killing large num­bers of chil­dren, women and civilians.”

Hezbollah’s Al Manar also reported on state­ments made by Ziad al-Nakhala, the Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of PIJ, that “the weapons which the resis­tance uses to fight, includ­ing those of Hamas, are Iran­ian weapons, from the first bul­let to the mis­sile; even the locally man­u­fac­tured ones are Iranian.”

The Tal­iban in Afghanistan issued a state­ment con­demn­ing “the bru­tal attacks on the land of Pales­tine.” The mes­sage calls on “the Islamic peo­ples and espe­cially the lead­ers of the Islamic world… to take a stand… to put an end to the Israeli injus­tices.” The state­ment also high­lights Amer­i­can sup­port for Israel, which it claims demon­strates “sup­port for inter­na­tional terrorism.”

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